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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  April 1, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT

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.. >> host: i wanted to ask you first order radley about the vision of the religion for atheists, which is a kind of youtube being sort of look or restructuring, refurbish and a secular society. and if i may be broadly can
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layout some of the ideas in the book. castro by starting point is secular society has not worked everything out. in other words, once we reject religion, if we reject religion, we still have some gaps, there are problems with the way secular society runs. he struck me many of these gaps could best be understood through religion, to which that could arise badly in the sense that we've thrown out a lot of stuff, which was associated with religion. and which is now absent from contemporary secular life, but we do well to revisit. so what i do is look systematically through three faiths, christianity, buddhism and judaism. asking myself always one question, what here might inspire? is there stuff you read left behind if we could intervene up the doctrinal side of religion
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nevertheless have benefited from. that is my starting point. so i look at areas like community, education, ethical structure, art, architecture, the notion of institution and a few other things besides. >> host: do have some very specific or postals, examples from religious life as she was charged with the ec secularized and incorporated into the wider society. perhaps you can expound upon some of these. >> guest: one of the area to look at his education. religions are giant educational machines. in a secular world, we take education really seriously. and a lot of money is devoted to institutes of higher education. what people are trying to understand why we educate, one answer is skills, for jobs, for the economy, to the beach, and be competitive.
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but there is another more noble sounding ambition, which creeps in during the in during the more they recall passages of politicians speeches or graduation ceremonies. and that is the idea that education should be a source of guidance, it should help live and should be an education of your soul. it should help you to find meaning, consolation, ethical structure. in other words, that's quite a religious ambition. in my book, a trace of an essay that started in the 19th century. as the church attendance began to collapse in the main parts of western europe, people ask themselves the question, how are we going to replace many of these good eggs from religion? ethics, structure, meaning? an influential group of people like matthew arnold and john stewart came up with what i think remains a really intriguing idea. it's a subculture will replace structure. culture and the c. come in the
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plays of shakespeare, dialogues of plato and novels of jane austen. in these texts come in these works there are possibilities for replacing in a lot of the direction and updates and structure a organized religions. i think it's an intriguing idea and an idea that is totally disappeared. see you at harvard or cambridge or traverse the answer to re-sign here is they want to learn how to live and die. i want to know what's good, bad. i want to find meaning, cope with immortality. the guys would be dialing the number for insane asylum. they not ambition that were allowed to bring to bear upon secular education. i think the reason for that is an idea that basically people are, once here and it's all come here kind of together. you don't need particular help get the business of life is simple. you need to get married and have a family and find a job you love and watch her parents die and
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confronts your immortality and then put yourself in a coffin. basically all that is easy. you know how to do it if you're an adult. the only people who need help or people and they read self-help books. that's the kind of dominant secular elite ideology. the idea of relevance and assistance and a duck system -- if you look at religion, religion is a different point of view. their view is that all of us are just holding it together. we are desperate and vulnerable and we need assistance right through every stage of life. we need wisdom. i don't necessarily agree with the wisdom. i agree intermittently, but i'm fascinated by the analysis of our fragility. i think that is fascinating and truer on a second model. that makes me think i was on per i would want to rejig how wisdom
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is transmitted down the chain of nations. i would argue the humanities should go back to the 19th century fishing company a religious nation at peace and culture the scripture, the good idea sadly neglect it. so that's why i'm. >> host: more than insulted. certainly within the united states, we only have 100,000 college graduates majoring in any branch of humanity is. all of the institutions like harvard and he began to train ministers. they made that transition, and when he referred to as expanded by arnold, they are being shut for the university at albany just shut down the foreign language departments, classics department. in some ways did not experiment fail. >> yes, often people say the
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world is crass and materialistic in the fall for governments or horrible donors or students, et cetera. i have to say with respect, the fault really lies in the humanities themselves. they have failed to properly make a case for their importance. their vision of scholarship has unfortunately been hijacked by a sort of neo-scientific idea, the researchers what matters and one can research for poetry, but one can research a scientific problem. and this has put generations of students off. the humanities have committed suicide by ap so cut off from the questions. i mean it's extort very. many think about it there is enormous inmates interest in the question of how to live. i mean it is everywhere. the idea that humanities departments have reached a stage but also cut off from the
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spontaneous curiosity of people that they're having to shut down, the problem lies within the departments. they simply failed to analyze the needs of their audiences and to realize that the material they are sitting on, the culture they say non-is a resource to the eye and if they handled it like that, the departments would be imposing. >> host: i don't like you've read this staff. of course he faults academic hierarchy itself, which i think you're doing. >> guest: they brought it upon themselves. i felt sorry for them. innocent people are sacrificed in the name of this corrupt ideology. but we all know it. you know it. this appetite out there for knowledge, we stand, structured argument, et cetera and where that goes on outside the university. the university which should've been the center, should've been a modest raise, should've been the place outside the press of
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capitalism, with the best arguments can be made and rehearsed and wisdom taught him transferred. that dream and it really is the dream written the architecture of america's colleges appear that you portrayed in the financial price. i'm sorry i can only think they have brought it upon themselves. >> would argue for those who truly grasp without the importance of art and literature, there's no place for that anymore. these people exist and i think he was sort of agree. >> the problem is of course they are disorganized and weaken one of the famous religion teaches us is if you want to get some paint to have power in the world community to organize. you need to self organize. so the problem with the loud would be academic in their bedroom writing a book coming in now, it is much weaker. if you look how powerful religions are, it is because of the capacity to organize themselves properly and it was
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arnold greaves was the second router can i say so from universities peeled it has failed to do that. postcode so you propose to create millis situations? >> guest: i certainly create rescue of our recruiting departments. it seems striking to me that the departments in higher education oversight academic disciplines rather than questions of the soul. so you have a literature department, which is a completely nonsensical category. brittany would alliterate department is a department of human relationships. that is really what it's about. so let's have the department of human relationships, the department of loving and kind, not the department of anthropology. so the academic to postman comes first. as part of putting the cart before the horse. >> i want to talk about institutions. i grew up in the church and i was telling you of the year atheists are kinder to the institution then i would be, you
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have a kind of healthy respect for institutions. there assert media stream within christian thought that argues that with constantine the third century, the rest of the christian church did as much to and distort the radical message of the gospel has perpetuated. >> guest: i think we have to be careful because certainly the temper of the modern world is a protestant idea is that the institution is correct, the true religion resides in individuals hired and that any corroboration of people is corrupt. while that is no doubt true at certain points, it is also true that we have to understand what is good about to touche and, which is that they are able to cooperate money, power, intelligence and can simply have the reach that the individual will never have. so i am aware in a secular world or saucer people trying to change the world by writing
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books. writing a book is the dominant message. and we found atheists writing books to attack religion, for example. they want to bring religion down. so they write about. the problem by writing a book as you are using one instrument to do with something which is utterly unsuited to be attacked by that instrument. a book cannot do that very much because what we are doing within the religion is an institution, which is the book of course books are essential to religions, their positions are also community centers and educational machines, travel agencies, music halls, they're involved in so many different dvds. to think that a book can sarcastically put this whole thing up is to misunderstand what you're dealing with. and as i say, i think we are not short of good ideas and a secular humanist world. the problem is those ideas generally don't have traction
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and they don't have traction because they are not part of an organized system. for example, lots of process servers commit people writing wonderful books about ethics, lots of stuff. and yet colossi in the streets of new york now. is it happening? no. because there is not the thing that religions are masters, which is that union of theory and case. that is what is fascinating to me. eric unified said they have a branch of them, intellects in the corner dissents read the books. but also a group of people who are producing and advertising billboards in the modern world are building cathedrals. it is a kind of -- with the germans would call a total work of art. it isn't a work of art as such but it has the elements after talladega, is the place and were not trained to access through the to brain chemistry of the
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same time that your intellect. we have to touch your the greatest moments in the day, through a variety of media. and the secular world doesn't seem to recognize that. you've got advertising and the luxury industries on the construction industry on one side and many scots intellectuals in another. which do is a union of those. it is construction in this fashion and its music and it's the intellect all as one embedded, pushing once did. i think this point is often missed. >> host: does the consumer society -- and you talk the book about the public relations and selling. i think you talk about them catering to people's needs. of course if they're actually doing is catering to emotional deficiencies. >> host: >> guest: that's right. there's that difference between needs and desires and to lead that you have to distinguish those appetites which are legitimate and linked to serious
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need and those which are vain and flighty evanescent and to your fugitive desires a part of the good life is knowing how to separate that. we've lost that sense that we need help in doing that in the consumer society is based on the idea that the individual can make up the choice. they can make the difference between needs and desires. make as little children can't. so before 7:00 basically adults will be able to judge their true needs so you can have a massive poster in front of them saying go to on holiday and it won't have an effect at all. i say we cannot those post-its. of course the advertising industry says it has a huge effect and that's where the business. so of course the next logical step is to ask what are we doing allowing the system to go to a place which willingly can use his needs and desires and therefore prevents us from possibly accessing our best
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possibilities, helps us to ruin our lives and really is a rather interesting model because really what it says is you do need advertising all down, but you need the right upper sizing and enters the pouches of love because we're were permanently being pulled in different directions and that is how a lot of organized religions function. they have billboards, whether he's a cathedral cathedral or temple or could actually be a billboard, it is an attempt to say you need some support. the whole of religious art is merely an attempt to support a set of ideas. it's a propaganda, a massive tool to propagandize on behalf of some ideas. >> isn't also way to delineate space? >> yes, to create an area where they will take time out from their mobile life in which the values that are most close to your heart and close to the truth to get a full chance to
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express themselves. yes, this is the sacred space. this is the temple, thomas, withdraw from the hype of the city and your back with your true self. and again, if i look at that, my first question is to say, what are we doing with that need now cracks if this is a serious need, where's it gone? what are we doing with it? people would say well, there's the museum, to which in my book i argue quite a lot about my museums are not quite doing the job properly. severe in many ways in which stuff that religions are quite aware of in terms of our enemies have gone unattended in the secular world. >> there were certainly religious scholars who would argue and of course religious systems are created by humankind and often times serve the interests not so much of
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religious tenants, the fregosi ran them, the history of the catholic church is a pretty sordid one. what about those sort of critics who say, well, religion itself for institutional religion to quote the theologian inherently demonic including the church and oftentimes religious institutions serve as natchez and adamant towards the capacity for transcendence or transformation, that the religious impulse that goes your names to describe articulate an honor to nonrational forces in life, beauty, grace, struggle for own mortality, all the things you've written about, that one has to make a very sharp distinction between the institutions and the religious
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impulse. and in many cases and i covered the war in yugoslavia, the religious institutions signed on for the crusades of ethnic cleansing. they gave a kind of sacred authority. >> work, without wishing in any way to underplay the terrible role of institutions, we also have to accept institutions can make the best possible that are not possible when it's just the individual. just to take the heat out of the argument, it helps to look at other areas other than religion in many of the same things happened. take the arts and humanities we've been discussing. the university has a system, has the same kind of relationship between the spontaneous impulse in the system. to take the imposter to read poetry. read poetry on iran have wonderful private feelings, very
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pure feeling. then go to an institution. he had a terrible time. they will correct your understanding of poetry and get involved in departmental struggles and misappropriated funds, and use students. scandals in institution will be horribly corrupt. so you have the same kind of dichotomy. the purity of the individual response, and corruption and violence and greed of the institution. is this not just a religious issue. this is a human issue. now how are we to look at that? my answer is neither one has the perfect answer. you need both and both can go wrong. you can as a personal response to grow strong because it's not properly guided, because it has an attraction because it just is squeezed out by the pressures of life. so actually you don't read the poetry. so let's not romanticize the
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individual genius, spontaneous person on the hill who feels unloved. and at the same time, waller said in the terrible myths about institutions and businesses, churches, et cetera, they are nevertheless able of the best moments to do extraordinary things like build a cathedral that commission or heathrow's terminal five or the abbas 8388 -- in other words, when humans can't together to do big things, the result can be very impressive, but it can also be destructive. i think we should stop being obsessed with religion as an anomaly in the corruption that afflicts there. it is no more our lives to corruption as an institution than any of these human institution. if you look at the history of the general purpose compared to the history of the catholic
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church in the decades, but even in the decades you will find just as much banality, corruption, abuse, terrible stuff in history general motors as you will in a representative of the history of the catholic church and the catholic judge has been going for hundreds of years. so let's be aware of romanticizing the individual and team in 19 both of their problems. >> although you can say it's certainly embraces the ideology of capitalism, but it does have -- you're right. certainly before the reformation the catholic church was a totalitarian entity, which ruled as much to fear and the threat of damnation as anything else, that there was a kind of power, especially in preliterate europe, which the church
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certainly refused. >> compared to the power existing in normal government at that time, the violence ruled that families. this is an age when children couldn't answer to their parents when why is the next best, with the whole notion of subject was not part of the common law. so we are dealing with violence rate across the board and say the church in 1400 was a bastion of intolerance. i'm an atheist. i don't know i should spend my time defending the catholic church. i am an historian and it said in the context. the average monastery was not better or worse than the average kingship. so let's set that. these are violent days. >> you quote spinoza and at one point in the book you talk about how difficult, which of course
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is true of radical intellectuals. or challenged the entire system of superstructure they are cast out not only by the institution and i do not. i wonder if those can never be comfortable in an institution. you seem to be possible. >> you know, reading about the life, he longed for company. he looked back to ancient greece and rome and the fellowship of philosophers at that time and the curious and the guardian. he wanted to be part of the team, that he was living in 19th century europe in the german university system, which was even less tolerant than the university system now. but it is somewhat similar ground.
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they didn't recognize they had a dermis for top-quality feeling i didn't get much out. he was desperate for a chat. he didn't want to be enough cards at the top of them out and speaking his claims to an audience of four. he wanted to be a professor at basel university, but he was kicked out. we should beware of the romantic view that people like me judges wanted to be on their own because it's nice to live that a suitcase terming around europe. no, it's really great to be x or y for so long as you can say what you want >> that is true, but i wonder whether institutions have ever embraced thinkers who have sort of dynamited entire superstructure on which social, political and economical assumptions. again it gets back to this sort of conflict between individual morality, no institution can
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never achieve morality of an individual because finally institution are concerned about their own perpetuation and there is survival whereas individual is capable of making a choice and sacrificing now. >> their institutions for better or worse address the needs of the individual and that is what interests me. when you talk about humanities and how they're not particularly addressing the needs of their students and not to say people don't unsteady. they are voting with their feet. take another institution like world museums. you often hear it said that samsara new churches, new cathedrals. what people are saying is these institutions were you find the same solemnity, brethren and enrichment for your soul as you might have gone. we look at that and say that's kind of interesting, good. and then i go to the museum and say i'm not sure this is all going right because the museum has fallen prey to a method of
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presenting a start. it is to cut off from the methods of the pigeon. to use it as a way of helping us to know how to live. religious art is a reminder of how we should live expression of attitude and a warning for all the ways in which we shouldn't live. that sounds really odd when can. with what might be going on with the museum of modern art. we don't expect that art should have much of an intention upon us. that is the modern curatorial system. good objects in a whitespace, but a minimal capture and get the crowds through. but really, this is not revolutionary. either at the level of the individual or a society are chocolate. it exists in the world afire. so whenever i was trapped by the
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way in which religions as institutions used parts and fire more adventurous provocative ways. and one example of how i see, you know, lessons that can be pulled out of religion by a nonbeliever and applied to get things in the modern world to go a little bit better. >> do you think the renaissance as a reaction to the restrictions on our mouse click >> what is interesting about everyone else's about everyone else's about everyone else's true to the didactic ambition of religious part in roman and greek art instrument of great card is exactly like ire. he wants to guide you to know how to live. >> would have been not far under the church click >> yes, absolutely. but that should be a guide to life. they are both in christianity. until it disappears in the 19th century under the rather unhelpful arts sake of the idea that the artist as a lone figure who creates works that are in
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the u.s. and so the dominant feeling you get when the museum is what does that mean? the catalog seems like it was translated badly from the germans. in other words are not quite sure what the response should be. that is the modernist and of a few afire. art is an ambiguous medium and the more complex work of art, the harder it will be to stay with the work of artists. religions -- jacob rembrandt painting that christ's cross the sea of galilee. as a piece of propaganda. if the propaganda on the part on behalf of courage. you're supposed to look at that and remember what courage is. it's very complex as a work of art in terms of its type of formal qualities, but it's very simple at the level of its moral. and that is a situation we have a hard time accepting. how can something be simple morality and yet really complicated and noble is a work
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of art? we expect that it's not going to be the case. >> host: on the second artist -- >> guest: you see the greatest artists absolutely have to. i think the problem is not the artists. it's the system in which they operate. take mark rothko. fascinating artists, very taken decomposes. i remember going to see rothko's paintings and mundane as a teenager, thinking about what this is about and what it's for. i can sense a powerful new. and the caption that said mark rothko born in, died in. did know what it was all about. read some books on him. years and years later that interview. the interviewer said what he tried to do with your art? he said i want my art to be a part of the sadness, to all of us can find a refuge and focus.
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i thought wow, that's pretty simple. you could write that on a postcard. what ever see them in? know, anything bad. you find that with a lot of artists. he was seen trying to stop war and get people to be nice to each other. when you go to the museum, is that every stated? know, is influenced by this. in other words, the very simple didactic ambition of the artist has been drained out of it by the curatorial system. so i say that the museum world does too visible culture with the academic world does too but culture, which is namely drain it of this revolutionary, therapeutic data type. >> i couldn't agree more. i would have to that that is religious institutions due to religion. >> interesting, interesting. >> or hats because i am an atheist i don't notice that as
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much. i am more impressed by the ethics and religion which seem only to be possible through collective action. but i defer to you. >> it strikes me and it's also an out duration that i share, that what moves you it's not always so much the institution, but the ritual. rituals are designed to create sacred space. they are designed to honor a reality that goes beyond articulation. they are designed in 19 this is also something you brazen about. they are designed to put human beings in their place within the cosmos and that of course is the power. there is something brilliant about the eucharist. >> the way of book is the ritual is a communal event. it is something that a number of
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people view that has an impact on the inner selves. if the modern world we imagine tanks that have been in your inner cells come spontaneously with one book or one artwork. in other words, the group doesn't touch your soul and i think what is fascinating as that is precisely an attempt to say, left to your own devices solely, derek thinks he will not get to, so we need -- you're not going to forgive people without yom kippur. you're not going to look at the mood without festival is seeking me. you're not going to probably forgive people without the jewish ritual of plunging yourself or whatever. but there are these communal rituals which will have to tape place, otherwise your soul will be in trouble and i'm deeply impressed by this. chiefly because subject to flee i know is so much that i feel
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and want to do that i don't do it because there is no communal structure. and people say yeah, i see atheists were and inventive things. people say that to me if they really come at great. what is that? birthday parties? people wrote poems. what's wrong? of course there are secular rituals, but they tend not to be structured properly. they tend not to be psychologically rich. take something like father's day or mother's day, which is a secular ritual, has obviously religious antecedent. it's a typical monitor and ritual and the reason is that fails to recognize the number one thing, which is we don't normally love our mothers or fathers. we also hit then. but let us down sorts of ways. the relationship between parent and child is conflict did. i have been a moment which only honors the positive actually
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makes the true relationship impossible. some more intelligent relationship with start by saying, that relationship is conflicted so we ritual to accept that. but if it's clever but conflict permits that. if you cause bar mitzvah ceremony is full of acknowledging the fact that the parents are sad that the kid is growing not. it's basically saying the kid is murdering the father. it's a ritual murder of the father is the next generation grows up. beneath the party and the president, it's an intergenerational murder. but it's healed and held together in done intelligently. >> host: well, expresses and i point this out at the beginning of the book a fundamental truth about insistence in the same way as the greek myths understood psychological truths. it is why freud kept going back
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to greek myths and shakespeare. and i'm certainly in complete agreement to ask the question, is this literally true? is this absurd in the beginning because even though literalists are so let dean, you know, they pick and choose what they want in the new borough contradictions even in the four gospels on all sides of issues. >> if we do leaving the individual was so much pressure to assume that we as individuals can do all the stuff we need to do just by ourselves. i was struck reading the history of religion is there's always another election day festival of chaos come a moment when the world is torn upside down and power relations are reversed in relations are reversed. but in this sense all the craziness, all of our perverse and pulses are given room for
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expression. and whether it is kind of old for the feast of fools for ancient greece the festival of dionysus or whatever, it is a moment in the calendar for the darkness is allowed to come out into the night and is regulated. that's the fascinated nature, it is the chaos and structure. it's a wonderful mixture. in the modern world we get trapped on a saturday night and he's someone that or break a car. it's very uncoordinated but we have a fair -- it's not dignity, not seen as something real labor with. they come to the realization that i've got a deceitful policies or you want to punch my boss and this is seen as a private realization against the backdrop of efficient man. they are much kinder to us
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insane of course this to continue. so we'll try and structure and give it a bit of a place in the world. >> host: acknowledging the impulses in the hot economy tercel, positive paternity is denied. >> guest: christian pessimism is wonderful whether it's pascal and judaism or the book of job or buddhist texts that he can the missouri grasping of human nature. these things are incredibly important to read precisely because we live in a sunny world with the assumption is that children are normal creatures rather than have crazy piece and all of us are mature, sensible people rather than people who are torn apart by series start as and i love reading christian jewish architects precisely because i've got a load here.
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it's also very dignified because the pros poetry is beautiful, the language is beautiful, so expresses the most private and articulate sides of ourselves, racist and not out of the darkness of places on the force and makes us feel less lonely with some of the most unacceptable staff that presides in the human soul. i think there should no longer be a division between art and what i call psychology and sap. did the art sert the needs of the soul that it didn't thirst in the art world. this project affects an part of living, where we put it seriously in a corner and we always recognize how much we put it in a corner. but it's not in the service of life. >> host: and yet, both of us
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flipped cruise. it certainly gave me a link which come it gave me a vocabulary to describe aspects of human vocabulary. tesco absolutely. the artists are doing a fine job. it's the it's the way they are presented. i read a book a few years ago began excommunicated from the university of san. the feeling was so this is not a serious matter. he has written a self-help book and i was happy to go because i thought we are not seeing eye to eye here. if the structure we took place. this is a man looking for the meaning of life and describe it
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if you like a quasireligious path to redemption? and he knew a lot about religion. it's precisely following, absolutely. >> host: to have some specific ideas i want to ask you about travel and i don't need to miss them, then maybe you can sort of spell something. >> guest: one of the things i do in my book is provoked the reader to think what i'm telling here is not merely set of ideas. i'm trying to imagine how we might tweet the world and change the boat with the help of the concepts we've been discussing. why do i do that? the practices in one area looks her in another and the book shouldn't suggest that essays. advertise its all about the union of practice and theory. it seemed exciting and interesting to look at that. i am thinking about respect
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event on and they realize that the put somebody in this space, where they see how smallish unit occupies, how smallish unit been occupies in the fastest space, they would be a quiet of soul, anxiety, pressure to succeed in ego driven impulses will debate under the night sky in the cathedral, and the grand canyon, were injured as he will certain kind of feeling kind of ceiling at the ego, the feeling off. so i try to think religions are in parallel. they do this all the time. or do we do this? people say we could grand canyon, et cetera. i tried to imagine structuring stories and astronomy as
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apatosaurus. the problem is when you go to a science museum, they will treat you like you're a scientist. they don't treat you like you're looking for more. they treat you like you're about to work for nasa and you're seriously interested in the details of the tijuana to calyx v., 3 million light years away. most of us are not. we had to keep teachers science or scientific material as a religious forebears did, otherwise the source of awe, so i try and imagine a space where we might go in and maybe a little like a planetarium or science museum, with a point but not used to learn about science. it would be to look at scientific phenomena for that feeling of and its benefits it can bring. and even playfully match in screens in times square that currently displays the stop market but every now and then get a five feet from the hubble telescope so as you're walking along the human ant, you would look up and see some of these
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galaxies and nebulae and suddenly everything would change rather if it changes when you see the towers and spires of sharp cathedral across the field in northern france. the same kind of impact, the same collision of your dailies felt that some the public. so if anyone who is zoning does screens in times square is watching, let's put them into the hubble. poster we talked a bit about utah's travel and criminal restaurants >> guest: travel is seen by religion is an absolutely fundamental part of the spiritual life which i'm about as well anything what do they do and what do a pilgrimage is many things, but it's an attempt to use a journey to help your soul.
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you say okay, i'm going to go on a journey to try and do some thing. but where parents structured about it. we don't really connect on destinations. if you look at the travel pages of newspapers, but delivers her how do i sign the hotel to get a cheaper rate than something? the real question is travel is how do i match the outer world with evolution in the inner world? that is what religion -- that's how religion uses travel. i try to imagine what travel agency might be like with properly studied religion. it's playful, that's a gross suggestion and really what you would do this you would have liked you to medieval christianity coming to visit a priest and discuss the state of your soul and the priest would guide you to a destination. he would literally have a map or book of destinations around europe and you're in a life or your destination would be
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matched. thank you there for the modern travel agent. and you might because the tennis religions understand, often accused of getting there undermines the capacity of the journey to affect change in us. there is the difficulty in metaphor for inner difficulty. so by ripping out her difficulties you entered my a willingness to ensuring in her difficulties to change. >> host: the other problem is people live for 20 years in the developing world, clustered industrial to a replication of that. at a resort. in fact, they don't trampled on really. >> guest: yeah, they don't travel at all. and a genuine touching ambitions that they do -- people went serious angstrom traveled. they travel in order to find themselves, to improve relationship to discover children, in order to understand the world.
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these are really, really serious condition and how often travel goes wrong because they are not taken seriously by the travel industry. >> host: was comarketing. >> guest: the noble impulses can be taken. >> host: going out to a club that. >> guest: that's right, that's right. i also look at the area of community and it strikes me one of the things religion is brilliant is doing is bringing strangers together in an extraordinary accomplishment of full space through certain basic actions, basically introduced themselves at his house, jessica hosted the party will rate the ice and allow people to release humanity and curiosity. silly religious hostess sat with a group to congregate. we've lost that ability. a city like new york or anywhere
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is full of bars and restaurants, the these are corrupt nations. these are not communal spaces. no one really talks to anyone or in hazard ways. we lack any systematic mechanisms force turning a stranger into a friend, which is on revisions passed the table at which the stranger can kind and eat and breathe brad. these are wonderful traditions. we spend so much time worrying about restaurants in the quality of the tomatoes they are. it's nonsense compared to the real in russian at the table. i suggested suggest that the? different tables. it doesn't matter what you're going to be. the point is friendship and community and the ancient religious ideal baking bread but the stranger. >> host: you don't talk about theater in the book, classical theater. i'm wondering, especially having
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lived in new york after 9/11 and the whole buildup to the iraq war, the one institution that sat to remain this was not in fact the church, which pretty much sign on for the war as an institution, but jeter. there were numerous productions with women, all sorts of great stuff done in theater itself is a sacred quality. i mean, it is -- you know, in some way almost brings back to life our past, our ancestors. as a communal quality. i just wonder -- >> guest: i accept all that. if i were to criticize theater in relation to religion, certain religious communal rituals that elements of theater. a mouse, et cetera. but it's not simply what the theorists -- it was torture called the society of the spec
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to call. >> host: you are thinking a -- this could go, right. he criticized modern culture for extra everything happening on stage in all of this fairly base. he compared this with religious premodern societies, whether six short or suffering of station that has an impact on the audience and you leave transform the energy to transform. i been in so many plays, wonderful moving place where the audience is wrapped in the audience is ready to go anywhere, but the play has taken a. we are in a state of ecstasy and we are in the hands of those that are spared in the curtain comes down on the go buy ice cream and had up for a taxi and go home and not at. the energy that was then that the jeter that could transform the world dissipates.
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and so, e-mail, i look at a more radical theatrical position. there's others who thought about this. the theater should not just existing to play house. it should start in the playhouse, the for everyone and not traditions with much to religion as sending the creation of spectacle and public engagement. >> host: and yet in times of repression in a cupboard pinochet's chile and theater, i mean, the two major institutions set up in church theater -- i think you're right. i think they are sort of ms decides that that is because the sort of culture that is upon them. everything is stripped down. season sans pac went to sarajevo, was being shelled and sit waiting for it to go.
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that has the power to speak. and all those faults converse have gone. oftentimes the inability to hear and see you point out is a narcotic. >> comes back to this idea of how seriously we should take works of art. there's the assumption that even though we pay the extra art, we don't really want to allow it to transform the. whenever a very powerful work comes along, just the way in which -- i don't know, one wouldn't want to call it a conspiracy, but it always feels like a conspiracy to strip it of its truly transformational power. we all know films for plays. with come out and think i want to change my life. this piece of work has urged upon me an agenda that is so different from everything about. the problem is by lunchtime the next day you forgot it in the next weekend is gone and there's some thing new is the theater
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and not you. so we don't have followed through. we begin to look at religions. they're saying, there were these insights, powerful insights that will go back because he knew on some date, that you forget the next saturday's civil code that event. modern culture -- it's almost like you can't take it on high point seriously enough. it undermines itself and its constant search for the new is great because it kept down things in the new. but basically the repetition and rehearsals series the undermines the capacity of any one work of art to really effect change. poster when you have as you certainly do with judaism and christianity systems of popular but by an oppressed class, to what extent is that theology and
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for the price? i was in a refugee camp on the worn-out founder and they were decorating the camp for a day of the innocents. and i need the story. i'd heard her father read it. and he asked one of the refugees fighting such an important holiday. they said because i misstate jesus became a refugee in a play before herod came and killed the children. and i who had heard a story from a position in some fundamental level, although they could be cited for verbatim couldn't understand it. i am wondering if you look at the antebellum south, you had two strains of the christian religion. you have the black church and you have the way slaveholding church, we choose the type of course to defend them. and i think there is a theologian james cullen has made a fairly strong argument that an anyways he actually calls the way church and not just the
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antebellum church, but the white church the antichrist and he talks a lot about ranching, a sort of modern cross. i just wondered us because if you could address that issue, d.c. injustice, oppression and to what extent finally position or religious theological systems in some ways may not have been written for people like you. just that there's immensely important and alternates her face, which is a defense of the vulnerable, the week, the child, the dispossessed. and more broadly, the self that exists outside of power, money and status. all religions are at their purist on this site, unless i give this status was person. the secular world is a winner society. you know, we live in capitalist. capitalism rewards economic merit and demonstrable economic
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success. this is an immensely punishing ideology that leads to madness at its most extreme because only a fraction of the members of his playmates and even the members of the united states can ever live up to that ideology. under that ideology, a huge portion of the world citizen and american citizens are losers and that can't be right. and where did the losers go? what ideology is the best night half the population to be defined as a loser? this can't be the right philosophy. and what religions have intelligently done is say no, that's about ideology. what matters is not power and status and possession of vast count souls. but the inner self, inner being discussed at a pair of gloves and a child that outside of power relationships, when we live outside of power
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relationships, what elected people is the pure person and that is what matters and in different forms that for all religions say. let the powerless, let the child, but the week person, the mortal self, not vanity or power, et cetera. we need that place desperately. with signing the visit is really only the face that put forward the base articulately. it used to be by marxism and the left. fortunately the left was discredited by economic sanctions and it failed to capitalize on what was suspicious. are, it's emotional analysis of what we need to explain itself as a scientific economic your kind is fatally shot itself in the foot as we know of a broker capitalism and the hand and the
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based organizations on the other. what gives the faith based organizations such strained his capitalism but also many people losers. i think has the absolute ruler the world i would say what we need is a nonstate based ideology, which rick is his dignity and humanity of the vulnerable and the week and the child. >> host: already. thank you so much. >> doubtless "after words," but to the signature program for the latest books are interviewed by journalists, public policymakers and the legislators and others familiar with the material. "after words" errors at 10:00 p.m. on saturday, 12:00 p.m. and i cannot send me. you can also watch "after words" online.
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go to and click on afterwards that the tv series the topic list on the upper right side of the page. >> up next on booktv, rebecca mackinnon says users rights are infringed upon governments and corporations. she points to changes in a spokes privacy policies and demands for google to censor information as examples on users to proceed to prevent sunlight. this is about an hour. [applause] >> on behalf of on behalf of the world affairs will either moderator and it is my pleasure to introduce to the existing status. before i do that at that to say word about rebecca mackinnon spoke which i think is very valuable and a real contribution to the network and it's just come out. i think probably the closest parallel is marisa spoke, the


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